Woodhouse flats evacuated as resident threatens to 'blow himself up'

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Householders living in Woodhouse flats have described how they were told by police ‘get out now’ as a resident threatened to blow himself up.

At just before 4am this morning around 40 residents living on and around Skelton Lane were evacuated by police – as fire engines and ambulances gathered at the scene.

Residents say five blocks were evacuated as they gathered in freezing temperatures outside – and they could smell gas from across the road.

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It is understood police were alerted after a resident received a phone call from a man since detained by police warning him to ‘get out’ of the building.

The scene at Skelton Close this morning - photo: Carl SheppardThe scene at Skelton Close this morning - photo: Carl Sheppard
The scene at Skelton Close this morning - photo: Carl Sheppard

One man living at the same building as the man who was detained said: “I was knocked up by police at about 3.40am and told I had to get out now – so they were definitely taking it seriously.

"It was insane – there were about 25 police officers, four fire engines and three ambulances.

"The guy was in his flat while police were calling up to him trying to persuade him to let them come up and he was saying ‘if you come up I’m going to blow myself up.

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"Later on a fireman told me police had managed to talk him down – but at one point they had drones out because he’d moved into a different room and they couldn’t see him any more.”

Another man living on Skelton Lane said: “We were waiting outside in the freezing cold for about an hour – a police officer came up to us saying a guy had put the gas on.

"They evacuated us while they tried to turn it off.”

Residents were all taken to a nearby fire training centre while work was done to dig the road up and turn off the gas supply at the flat where the incident was happening.

People living in the flats told how they waited in the freezing cold before being moved to shelter nearby while police and firefighters worked to resolve the situation.

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A large cordon at the scene was lifted at about 8am and all residents were back in their flats by 10am.

A police spokesman confirmed they had attended a ‘critical incident’ this morning however no further details are available yet.

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